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Author Topic: Standard 5.8 - how to achieve a minimal look and feel  (Read 3494 times)
mick12345678
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Posts: 140


« on: July 07, 2007, 03:07:48 pm »

I found an old PC in a skip, and am pleased to say I have installed VL 5.8 Standard on it and it is running well  Smiley.

My intention is to set it up so that I can hand it over to a friend of mine who has (literally) never touched a PC before, so that he can have Internet access, maybe write a few letters, and rip a few CD's for transfer to an MP3 player. I therefore want to make it as simple as possible in look and feel with no extraneous icons and a user interface as straightforward as possible.

At the moment, the 1st problem that I have is that the desktop has some icons that I would like to get rid of that are (according to their 'properties') "desktop configuration files". Can I safely delete these or somehow hide them ?

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GrannyGeek
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Posts: 2567


« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2007, 03:51:32 pm »

At the moment, the 1st problem that I have is that the desktop has some icons that I would like to get rid of that are (according to their 'properties') "desktop configuration files". Can I safely delete these or somehow hide them ?

Right-click on the icon you want to get rid of. If it's deletable, there'll be a Delete option in the right-click menu. It's safe to delete these.

If you want to add an icon, right-click on a desktop icon and select Desktop, then Create launcher, link, or folder.

You can hide desktop icons completely through the XFce desktop menu, Settings, Desktop Settings. Click on the box under Desktop Icons and select None. No icons will appear. You can reverse this by clicking on File/launcher icons and things will go back to the way they were before you selected None.
--GrannyGeek
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Registered Linux User #397786

Happily running VL 7 Gold on  a Sempron LE-1300 desktop (2.3 GHz), 4 G RAM,  GeForce 6150 SE onboard graphics and on an HP Pavilion dv7 i7, 6 gigs, Intel 2nd Generation Integrated Graphics Controller
wcs
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Vectorian
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Posts: 1144


« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2007, 04:44:15 pm »

As Granny said, it is safe to delete them. The desktop configuration files are lauchers for programs, so you only lose the launcher, not the applications.

However, make sure you're able to start the applications in some other way, in case you need them. While that is fine for the browser, abiword, etc. because you can get that from the menu, the CD Media file, for example, calls a script in /sbin/cdmount.sh that mounts a cd media when you click on it and opens the file manager (and I guess unmounts it, when you close the file manager). I'm guessing that's quite a useful feature and that your friend wouldn't like to call that script or mount the cd from the command line (unless you've upgraded to xfce 4.4 and installed the hal dependency, in which case you can get that feature from within the file manager itself).

Another case in point is the VL Docs icon, which lauches the command browser_vl. Again, so far as I know, you cannot get that from the menu, and maybe your friend wouldn't know where the docs are. Of course, assuming he wants to read the docs...

There is also a way to configure what other icons appear on the desktop (home, trash, file system, and removable media folders), but you only
seem to want to remove the desktop files ones... ask away, if you need this.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2007, 04:46:03 pm by wcs » Logged
GrannyGeek
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« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2007, 05:49:52 pm »

the CD Media file, for example, calls a script in /sbin/cdmount.sh that mounts a cd media when you click on it and opens the file manager (and I guess unmounts it, when you close the file manager). I'm guessing that's quite a useful feature and that your friend wouldn't like to call that script or mount the cd from the command line (unless you've upgraded to xfce 4.4 and installed the hal dependency, in which case you can get that feature from within the file manager itself).

In XFce for VL 5.8, you can put a CD in the CD-ROM drive, click on the devices icon in the system tray area of the XFce panel, and click on /dev/cdrom, which will mount the CD. Do the same to unmount it. Of course, it's probably easier for a new user to use the desktop icon, but you don't have to manually call the script or mount from the command line if the desktop icon is gone. The devices icon in the system tray is a very handy thing.

Quote
Another case in point is the VL Docs icon, which lauches the command browser_vl. Again, so far as I know, you cannot get that from the menu, and maybe your friend wouldn't know where the docs are. Of course, assuming he wants to read the docs...

Here, again, there are alternatives. If you're setting up a computer for a new user and want to eliminate most desktop icons, take note of what command launches the VL Docs. I added the command as a launcher to my XFce panel System Utilities group (the one that includes VASM). You could also add it to the XFce desktop menu as I described in another message.

Or you could add file:///usr/doc/VLHelpCenter/index.html to the Bookmarks in the browser the newbie will use, or in all the browsers for that matter.

Lots of options besides desktop icons! Sometimes the desktop icon is better for a particular user, but it's not the only easy way.
--GrannyGeek
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Registered Linux User #397786

Happily running VL 7 Gold on  a Sempron LE-1300 desktop (2.3 GHz), 4 G RAM,  GeForce 6150 SE onboard graphics and on an HP Pavilion dv7 i7, 6 gigs, Intel 2nd Generation Integrated Graphics Controller
wcs
Packager
Vectorian
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Posts: 1144


« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2007, 12:25:54 am »

Quote
In XFce for VL 5.8, you can put a CD in the CD-ROM drive, click on the devices icon in the system tray area of the XFce panel, and click on /dev/cdrom, which will mount the CD. Do the same to unmount it. Of course, it's probably easier for a new user to use the desktop icon, but you don't have to manually call the script or mount from the command line if the desktop icon is gone. The devices icon in the system tray is a very handy thing.

Very true. Although this worked fine for me before, it doesn't work now because I used the Xfce 4.4 package in the repository that was compiled without hal support (at least, I guess that's the reason). So, I just keep the CD Media icon in there.

But I'm gettting carried away by details. As Granny suggested, mick, there are plenty of ways to achieve what will best fit your friend's needs without cluttering his desktop.
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Joe1962
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« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2007, 08:24:10 am »

I use the XFCE 4.4 no hal and the devices plugin works well.
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O'Neill (RE the Asgard): "Usually they ask nicely before they ignore us and do what they damn well please."
http://joe1962.bigbox.info
Running: VL 7 Std 64 + self-cooked XFCE-4.10
wcs
Packager
Vectorian
****
Posts: 1144


« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2007, 10:10:49 am »

Quote
I use the XFCE 4.4 no hal and the devices plugin works well.

Oh, you're absolutely right! I just did a fresh install of VL 5.8 and it works fine now, so I guess I just ruined it before.
So it seems the HAL absence just makes removable media not show up in the Thunar sidepane. On top of that, the audio volume plugin doesn't work. Is that the case with you, Joe? Which is fine, because I just assigned a shortcut key to start gamix when I need to adjust the volume.

(sorry for the off-topic)

Thanks,
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Joe1962
Administrator
Vectorian
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Posts: 2499



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« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2007, 11:36:20 am »

The volume plugin works for me. In some cases you need to set the proper mixer in the properties though.
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O'Neill (RE the Asgard): "Usually they ask nicely before they ignore us and do what they damn well please."
http://joe1962.bigbox.info
Running: VL 7 Std 64 + self-cooked XFCE-4.10
mick12345678
Vectorite
***
Posts: 140


« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2007, 02:21:10 pm »

Thanks for the replies  Smiley

Quote
If you want to add an icon, right-click on a desktop icon and select Desktop, then Create launcher, link, or folder.

I would like to add a Firefox icon. But right-clicking on the desktop doesn't give me the options referred to above and I don't have a "desktop icon" (I deleted quite a few things - that might be one of them  Huh).

I should have stated - the icons I would like to get rid of are these : "Home", "File System", "CD Media" and "Floppy". The 1st two of these don't have a "delete" option, so looks like I am stuck with them. The other two do. However, I am confused by the discussion about mounting CD's (should've mentioned I am a Linux novice). I have a "devices" icon in the system tray (for now) and it tells me the cdrom is not mounted even though I have a CD playing right now. Double clicking on the "CDmedia" desktop icon doesn't seem to do anything.

If I delete the "Floppy" icon, will I still have a simple way of enabling floppy read/write ?
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Joe1962
Administrator
Vectorian
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Posts: 2499



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« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2007, 03:07:48 pm »

even though I have a CD playing right now.
This would be a music CD, right? Those are not mountable, as they don't have a file system. They are played through a CD player app (or the play button, if your CD reader has one).
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O'Neill (RE the Asgard): "Usually they ask nicely before they ignore us and do what they damn well please."
http://joe1962.bigbox.info
Running: VL 7 Std 64 + self-cooked XFCE-4.10
wcs
Packager
Vectorian
****
Posts: 1144


« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2007, 04:46:15 pm »

Quote
The 1st two of these don't have a "delete" option, so looks like I am stuck with them.

Here's how to remove the "Home" and "File System" icons:

In your file manager, go to the following directory: ~/.config/xfce4/desktop/
(~ means your home directory. If you want to see hidden files and directories such as .config press Ctrl-H in the file manager).

Once you're inside the desktop folder, right-click inside the file manager, select "Create document", and then "Empty file".

Copy and paste the following lines:

Code:
[file-icons]
show-filesystem=false
show-home=false
show-trash=true
show-removable=true

Save this file with the name: xfdesktoprc

Then log out and back in again, and the icons should have disappeared.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2007, 05:01:54 pm by wcs » Logged
wcs
Packager
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Posts: 1144


« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2007, 04:51:33 pm »

Quote
I would like to add a Firefox icon. But right-clicking on the desktop doesn't give me the options referred to above and I don't have a "desktop icon"

Instead of right-clicking on the desktop, right-click on any of the icons that you do have. The last option in the menu is Desktop. then select "Create Launcher". Fill in the name you want for the icon, and write "firefox" in command. By clicking on the button that says "No icon", you will access the icons in your system. You should find the Firefox icon in "Application Icons".
Hope this works.

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mick12345678
Vectorite
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Posts: 140


« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2007, 01:38:44 pm »

Quote
This would be a music CD, right?
d'oh  Embarrassed !

Quote
...You should find the Firefox icon in "Application Icons".Hope this works.
Worked a treat, thanks  Cheesy

Quote
Here's how to remove the "Home" and "File System" icons..
but that didn't  Shocked . The icons are still there after logout/login (also tried restart).
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wcs
Packager
Vectorian
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Posts: 1144


« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2007, 02:16:37 pm »

Quote
but that didn't  Shocked . The icons are still there after logout/login (also tried restart).

So after googling a bit, it seems to me that's a "hidden customization" that's probably only available in Xfce 4.4 .
You can read it here in their FAQ (http://wiki.xfce.org/faq#desktop_manager)

So I guess you would need to upgrade Xfce to 4.4 using gslapt.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2007, 02:18:44 pm by wcs » Logged
mick12345678
Vectorite
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Posts: 140


« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2007, 09:21:25 am »

thanks   Grin
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